Betty has been touring Italy for the past month and a half, longer if you include all their preparation for the trip, but today there is a pause in the travelogue for a shot at the volks back home.
Even on holiday on the other side of the globe and more than 2,000 years in the past, there's no hiding place, and no way for a sensible person to avoid the world.
And to deliberately turn your back on the world is both a radical political statement and an acceptance of whatever the world chooses to do to you.
Reality will find you.
Even Peace Corps volunteers, deep in the wilds of wherever, no longer live the isolated lives they did a generation ago: They Skype with friends and family back home and have the ability to follow along with world events, sometimes with better connectivity than they'd have back here.
Passivity is only a blindfold, not an armor.
The last 24 hours have been intense, and perhaps Tom Toles says all that can be said for the moment about the tax plan, which was voted upon not only without open debate but without most Senators knowing what was in it.
Rightwingers have compared this to Nancy Pelosi's famous statement about the ACA, that you would have to put it in action to see how it worked, but that's at best ignorant and at worst deliberately dishonest: Pelosi was saying that the complexity of the ACA was hard to explain, not that its proponents (and opponents) didn't know what was in it.
The impact of the new law will unfold fairly slowly, although, as Andy Marlette notes, it's already clear that, for those of us over 65, the increase in the standard deduction is all but cancelled out by the loss of the additional deduction for older Americans, while cuts in other programs hardly bode well for our future.
The rest of you will figure it out eventually, maybe, probably, I hope.
But I've seen, for instance, dire predictions of people dying of cancer because of changes, and they seem, for now, like guesswork, because the specifics depend on whether the House version or the Senate version prevails.
Also, some of the numbers being thrown around include people who, assuming they will not be required to enroll in the ACA, will face cancer without insurance.
My suspicion is that they'll get some kind of treatment, and it will cost taxpayers more than the ACA subsidies would have.
Bottom Line: It's not to soon to say that the GOP has served their donors and not their constituents.
But we'll have to wait to assess actual damages.
At the same time, news broke that Michael Flynn was, as suspected, cooperating with Mueller's investigation, and John Cole captures the mood in which the Leader of the Free World responded by confessing to obstruction of justice.
Experienced election law people have been saying for months that, if a foreign government approached a campaign with an offer of help, the correct, obvious and standard move was to alert the FBI.
Not to take a meeting, and not to lie to the FBI about it.
And not to lie to the FBI and then cover it up.
Maybe I'm too cynical, but I like Clay Bennett's take.
Things which would bring down a house of cards in a functioning democracy may not budge this one.
I've been wrong before, but, for all the efforts of John McLaughlin (as noted in this book) and the rest, the GOP had only begun to play the Silent Majority. It's not so much that Nixon didn't have their support, because he did.
But those who rely upon inciting the mob didn't own the entire party. Yet.
That mob is already breaching the walls of the First Amendment. A month ago, David Horsey had the nerve to say that, while most of Trump's female hires seem to be supermodels, Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a very normal-looking person, whom he likened to a "slightly chunky soccer mom."
Breibart and the rest could not refute the remainder of Horsey's thesis, that Sanders is a valuable member of the Trump team because she will steadfastly lie on his behalf, so they launched a troll attack on the LA Times over this alleged "fat shaming."
Horsey has not filed a cartoon at the Times since. I do not know who decided that was a necessary response.
Now a smaller group of trolls are attacking Jack Ohman, screaming "fat shaming!" because he depicted Sarah Huckabee Sanders as looking like Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Which makes you wonder who is actually ashamed of her physical appearance but mostly makes you wonder why nobody attacks either cartoonist for calling her a liar.
That said, let's not assume only the lunatic right is intent on shutting down unwelcome insights.
The New York Times has come under attack from the left -- including in this Brian McFadden cartoon -- for an article in which an American nazi was portrayed as otherwise relatively normal.
That second Times piece quoted Mother Jones writer Shane Bauer, with whom I agree.
And I'd add that I hate cancer, but I'm alive because people studied how those tumors work, and there is also a lot of research into how fires start and spread because simply hating their destruction does nothing to stop them.
Which is a clever segue because today's Non Sequitur is an appeal for aid in the Northern California fires, and there will also be a fundraising event at the Schulz Museum this coming Saturday, including Friend of the Blog Brian Fies as well as Dave Eggers, Christopher Moore, Stephan Pastis, Raina Telgemeier, and Judd Winick.
Now here's your moment of zen